The second of six episodes following Sam Neill travelling in the wake of Captain Cook around the Pacific, 250 years on from when Cook made his first voyage. This episode sees Sam in New Zealand, a country he calls home. Sam considers not only the cultural ramifications of Cook’s first interactions with the Maori people but also the continuous social and political impact Western settlers had on the land and people.
Speaking with historians, activists, artists and locals, Sam delves into a deep history of trade, tradition and turbulent conflict. To his surprise Maori oral memories of Tupaia are more strong and vivid than those of Cook. Reconnecting with lost Polynesian history was far more potent than awe at the foreign goblins.
The Pacific In The Wake of Captain Cook ep. 2
250 YEARS AFTER Captain James Cook began his epic exploration of the Pacific, Sam Neill journeys in the wake, uncovering stories that resonate from those times on both sides of the beach. Visiting the islands and lands where Cook went and meeting the descendants of the people Cook met, Sam hears their stories from oral tradition. What did Cook’s arrival mean to Pacific island cultures then and now?
Across six stunning episodes without a re-enactment or fake quill in sight, Sam takes an epic and thoroughly modern look at 250 years of Pacific history. Sam begins with a disclaimer – he is merely an actor – but the story of Cook, and the impact he has had on the Pacific in the 250 years since his first voyage, has always fascinated him.
“The Pacific made Cook and it killed him too… they are forever bound together. He stitched its islands, its continental borders and its indigenous peoples into the fabric of the global community we know today. Admire him or abhor him, James Cook cannot be banished from its history even now, as peoples of the modern Pacific, we make our own history,” Sam Neill said.